Day 8 - Motorbikes in the rain!
Trip Start Sep 27, 2012
20Trip End Nov 06, 2012
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Our group unanimously agreed to carry on with the motorbike tour and I loved it! (You know me...if there's a hint of an adrenaline rush...I'm there ;)) Our guide today was called Quang and looked smaller than me! I was on the motorbike with him during the trip when he told me he was 34 and had two children!! Lol I thought he looked like a child lol lol He was very knowledgable and friendly though and singing Vietnamese songs during the trip...it's was quite entertaining! We were draped in these massive macs that everyone here wears during the rain and off we went
The motorbike tour started out in the countryside (which was pretty) and we visited the main country market and a rice museum. We met this old lady (her name was Wan) at the rice museum who showed us the various stages involved in harvesting the rice and making rice flour. She sang the local folk songs while demonstrating all the stages. Quang told me she was about 75yrs old and still involved in the rice harvest which involved manual work throughout! She reminded me of Baa and I felt a bit emotional leaving the place. She was also a regular betel nut chewer but Quang said the women here can live upto 90yrs and have been chewing betel nut all their lives!
The next stop was an incense making factory....each woman in the factory can make upto 5000 incense sticks in a day! They first make a paste out of the different ingredients depending on the intended fragrance. When we were there it was cinnamon and sandalwood. I bought some sticks to take home :) The next stop was at a straw hat maker's home. We went along very narrow roads which had already started to become mini rivers by then due to the rain! The maker was called Lyn and was born with one arm only due to inhalation of toxic chemicals during the war by her mother when she was pregnant. I bought a little straw hat for Nikki which was made by Lyn :) The last stop was a pagoda along the perfume river...it had a tortoise statue and the myth was that any wish made by touching the head of the tortoise can come true. I wished for no war in the world.
We now have a 13hr train journey and reach Hanoi at 4:30 in the morning...and head to Halong bay! :)